A new observation season is starting!

This spring, we are going together to observe, discover and admire three families of Peregrine Falcons in Brussels.

The Peregrines successfully returned to Belgium to nest in 1996, after 25 years of absence due to poisoning of the food chain and poaching. In 2004, a first pair was discovered in the city of Brussels. It was at the top of the cathedral of Sint Michael and Sint Gudula cathedral. In the memory of ornithologists, it was unprecedented! This bird, which had almost completely disappeared from Europe and North America because of man, has come to live in the middle of the city! What a symbol! Today, there are a (large) dozen breeding pairs of Peregrines in Brussels. This is probably unique in the world. Brussels has thus become the City of Peregrines!

The Peregrine families that we will be following this year are located on the north tower of the Sint Michael and Sint Gudula cathedral, in the bell tower of the church of Sint Job in Uccle and on top of the belfry of the historic building of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), on the Solbosch campus.

Here is the current state of play. The cathedral pair is the same as last year's pair, as can be seen from the scientific rings. Both males and females are incubating 1 egg (not much!) which is expected to hatch early next week. So it's going to happen very soon. In Uccle, surprise, it is a new couple that is incubating 4 eggs; the hatching is hoped for the 17th of April. The same goes for the ULB pair regarding hatching time. Both males and females are ringed, which shows that they are the same partners since the first nesting observed at the University in 2019.

Blog 07042023 video 1 Brooding relay at the Sint Michael and Sint Gudula cathedral

Blog 07042023 video 2 Arrival of the male in the ULB nest

Blog 07042023 photo 1 The male from Uccle; in the meantime the female has laid a 4th egg